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I have a question about mounted combat. The PHB says (p. 198):

The initiative of a controlled mount changes to match yours when you mount it. It moves as you direct it, and it has only three action options: Dash, Disengage, and Dodge.

My doubt concerns the Dodge action. Does the book mean that, during my horse's turn, it can dodge both attacks against it and against me? Or just attacks against it?

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Mounted combat can get a little confusing but most of the complexity falls away if you remember that the mount and the rider remain 2 separate creatures and the only things that change is exactly what it says on p. 198.

Mounted or not you and your mount have:

  • 1 move
  • 1 action
  • 1 bonus action if circumstances permit
  • 1 reaction if circumstances permit

When you mount (and nothing allows you to change this short of dismounting and remounting - which unless you are in melee is trivially accomplished) you decide to:

  1. Allow the mount to act independently. It can do any or all of the first 3 of these on its initiative count each time its turn comes up. It can choose any of the 10 available actions that are available to it (e.g. a non-spellcasting mount can't cast a spell).

  2. Control the mount. It then acts on your initiative and can still do any or all of the first 3 of these but it is limited to (Dash, Disengage or Dodge) for its action. If the mount had a bonus action it could do whatever that was in addition to its action.

In either case, what you do affects you and what your mount does affects it. Specifically, if your mount:

  • Dashes: it can move as its movement and move again as its Dash, you go along for the ride.
  • Disengages: it can move without provoking Attacks of Opportunity, you go along for the ride and do not provoke Attacks of Opportunity because you are not moving.
  • Dodges: it can move and gets the AC and saving throw benefit, you go along for the ride and ... don't. However, you can choose to Dodge as your action or as a bonus action if you have that capability.

Importantly, you can move. For a normal mount like a horse, this would normally involve dismounting as the first part of your move but for a big creature like a sandworm you could move without dismounting and your movement would provoke Attacks of Opportunity (exception Disengage) which could not target your mount. This is different to your mount's movement which provoke Attacks of Opportunity which can target you or your mount.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Are there any rules references confirming that a mount can trigger an AO for you? \$\endgroup\$ – enkryptor Mar 29 '17 at 7:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @enkryptor if you want to ask a question: ask a question. Just ... don't ask that one because it's been asked before: use search before asking. \$\endgroup\$ – Dale M Mar 29 '17 at 9:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ I was pretty sure mount doesn't trigger AO for the rider, but it seems I was wrong. \$\endgroup\$ – enkryptor Mar 29 '17 at 12:52
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If your mount uses the Dodge action, only it will gain the benefits. The Dodge action says that:

Until the start of your next turn, any attack roll made against you has disadvantage if you can see the attacker, and you make Dexterity saving throws with advantage.

There's nothing in there that would allow it to benefit anyone other than the creature using the Dodge action, and the Mounted Combat section likewise has nothing that would somehow make this affect the rider.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Maybe the answer could be made a little clearer by explaining that both you and your mount can take the Dodge action at the same time and then each would gain the benefit? Also by interpreting the rules in the way this answer suggests, it means that you should always have your mount using the Dodge action whenever you are fighting in melee, is that right? \$\endgroup\$ – arthexis Jun 21 '15 at 19:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ You have three real options for your mount while in melee combat. There's the dodge action, which you mentioned. You can also let it act independently, in which case the DM decides what it does (a riding horse might get nervous and disengage from combat, while a warhorse would probably fight), or you can have it disengage, and then perform hit-and-run attacks. \$\endgroup\$ – xanderh Jun 21 '15 at 21:22

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